For 2 complete years it was bliss. She was a mature Indonesian woman from Indonesia in her 40s and has a granddaughter of her own back home. Naturally, she was good with my newborn son and he grew very attached to her, they both did. Everyone calls her 'bibik' (which means aunty in Indonesian).
Bibik and Idzhar during his 2nd birthday party
Apart from taking care of my kids, bibik also helped clean and tidy the house and soon my extended family have accepted her as a part of our family. My late grandma was especially fond of her. Bibik took good care of her when she was sick and was happy to accompany her whenever and wherever. Bibik loved going back to mom's hometown where my grandma lived.
Life as a mother of two was not so challenging with bibik around. I had someone to help look after them when we walked at the mall, help change the baby's diapers when I was too tired after coming home from work, help prepare the ingredients so I could just come back from work and start cooking and after dinner there was someone else who could help with the dishes.
Getting the kids ready for everything took half of the time since there were two of us. Ed and I could also go out for a quick date and not worry about the kids. We used to go for movies almost every week without the kids. We could have our outdoor activities anytime we wanted. Whenever I was unwell, there was someone else who could sleep with the baby.
Last January, after 2 years of being with us, bibik had to leave us for good. We persuaded her to stay and really wanted to renew her work permit but her husband wanted her to go back to Indonesia and help their daughter at their food stall. We renewed her permit anyway just in case she decides to change her mind.
So here I am, working full-time and juggling to be a good mom, wife and daughter at the same time. I'm always tired (although I don't show it and pretend that I'm not) and every chance I get I'll ignore the kids' pleas, tantrums, requests or toilet breaks and hope that my husband will deal with them.
I'm constantly suspicious with moms who are able to maintain their looks with not a strand of hair not in place. I'm most often jealous with moms who go shopping at the malls on weekends with their kids in their neat outfit and 5 inch heels and I envy those moms who are able to take their kids everywhere and just let them loose. I really try to take my kids everywhere we go and a good friend of mine even came up with a motto for me - have stroller, will travel - but most often than not, I need another holiday after those kind of holidays. Nothing stresses me more than the thought of packing for a holiday for the kids.
There are days that I just feel I can't go on anymore and want to just lie in bed, close my eyes and sleep and ignore everything but most of the time I managed to brave through the day, stride by stride and at the end of each day, nothing makes me more happy than to look at their happy faces when they see me home from work or just hop onto my bed to kiss me goodnight.
That's when I tell myself, 'tomorrow's another day and I'll think about it when the time comes'. Until then, I'm the happiest mom in the world...
And the cycle continues.